Re: virus: Paul and James

Snow Leopard (
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 05:40:28 PST

>>Well, you've summed up what *Paul* said Christianity was. Now do you
>>care to find out what *Jesus* said it was? Or *James*?
>I don't quite understand what you're getting at. Jesus said follow me
>and I will make you fishers of men. Well, guess what? I agree, and
>this is a lovely fishing hole. I don't happen to have anything for
>James, but the pont is, it's one doctrine told diferent ways, like the
>light of a prism.
>Well, I think you should go back and read the gospels again. While it
>is true that Jesus was fishing for men, why was he motivated to do
>this? What was the message that Jesus sent his disciples out to say?
>Another good way to check on Jesus's beliefs is to read his *very
>first* speech to a crowd -- what does he say first, even before he
>says "I will make you fishers of men"?
>As to James, he is famous for being in utter contradiction to Paul, to
>the extent that Martin Luther wanted to rip the book of James from the
>Bible. Perhaps you would benefit by reading it, as I certainly find
>James to be a voice of reason and sense.
>>Or how about -- horror of horrors -- what *you* personally have found
>>of value in Christianity?
>Personally? I've found that Christianity is, for me, a driving force.
>My time talking with all of the people who are don't have phaith in
>Christ, but have sharp intellects, is the best time I have. In a way,
>it's like military service- while I'm doing my duty to tell what I
>believe to be truth, to defend Christianity and uphold morality as
>best as I can (wish me luck) I get to see interesting things and look
>in on many fascinating perspectives.
>That's a good response. In my experience, one doesn't need luck to
>uphold morality; one need courage.

It takes both. Moreover, having a God to believe in gives me courage.

>I generally approach these situations hoping to learn something --
>what do you know that I should?
>That's nice, but I can disprove Santa Claus a lot easier than you can
>disprove the God of the Bible.
>You'd think so, but I've seen at least four iron-clad arguments
>against the usual conception of the Christian god, and only one
>against santa claus. But even that aside, I don't see why an argument
>should have to be made against either of their existences. The burden
>of proof rests on those who believe. Otherwise, I'd have to come up
>with arguments disproving the existence of anything anybody ever
>thought up... including the IPU (PBuH), Eris, Thor, Tinkerbell,
>Mythras, Vishnu, Allah, Kali, the Buddha, the X-files aliens,
>leprechauns, and all fictional characters ever created.

I've seen iron-clad arguments against the ability for us to move. (For every distance, A to B, there is a midpoint, which one must get to first. To get to that midpoint, one must get to the 1/4 point, then the midpoint thereof, etc.) I'm not discounting science, I'm just saying that proofs aren't perfect. But what is?

>The right god? Pardon me, Eric, but it occurs to me that I may have
>the bases covered. I have a working set of beliefs, and in charity to
>whatever may be out there, I check out everything else.
>Really? Well, can you tell me why each of the gods (those that are
>gods) above are "not the right god" then? Once you're finished with
>them, I can supply you with hundreds more. You know what's really
>interesting about being a Christian? You're only *one* god (or
>perhaps three, on a bad day :-) away from being an atheist.

A valid point, but I'd like you to consider something- most religious texts are written within one lifetime, by one or two people of similar culture. Because of the mindset, it should look less contridictory. Often, they're worse.

The X-files aliens often life in mutually exclusive universes. Tinkerbell couldn't have the correct organs to survive as a miniature winged humanoid with special powers.

>(it's too bad that irrationality doesn't reduce linearly with the
>number of gods believed in; the world would be such a nicer place)
>The funny thing is, every Biblical *discrepancy* I've heard of so far
>can be explained, if one looks though the Biblical world view. I
>challenge anyone reading this to point out a few, I'll show you what I
>OK. Why I should have to point them out to you is beyond me, but you
>can try your hand at the conflict between James and Paul.
>Paul -- Romans 3:28, 5:1, Gala 2:15-16 (which actually comes out a
>whole section on the feud between Paul and James's supporters), Ephe

I've never heard of the book of Gala. The feud between James and Paul is only a little more evidence for the transition from a predominantly phaith-based meme-complex to a religious one.

>James -- James 2:14-17, 2:24.
>If you want me to quote the verses, tell me first which version of the
>Bible we are going to use, as we want to be consistent. (
I would
>prefer the NIV, the KJV, or the GoodNews Bible, since I own them, but
>would not be adverse to the RSV, or YLT)

NIV or KJV are okay by me. Actually, I read both- regularly. Every night before bed, I read at least one chapter of the scripture. (I miss now and then, however, I'm not perfect, just forgiven) And if something doesn't register, I immediately check another translation or two. So, if you want to say that NIV or KJV are fair game, I'd be very happy. There will undoubtedly be small errors in both because translators are fallible.

>"Many sweat to reconcile St. Paul and St. James, but in vain. 'Faith
>justifies' and 'faith does not justify' contradict each other flatly.
>If any one can harmonize them I will give him my doctor's hood and
>let him call me a fool." -- Martin Luther
>Ironically, I think that Jesus would have agreed more with James than
>Paul -- as witnessed by his responses to questions like "what must I
>do to enter the kingdom of heaven?" (he invariably answers with
>"works", and sometimes also with "love", but never -- to my
>knowledge -- with "have faith")

You don't ask a question like "Hey, [Son of God], how do I enter [a lovely place most people don't believe in]" without some level of faith present.

>If you do manage this, I have another nasty surprise ready just in
>time for easter... :-)

I will never hold out an argument from you, but I won't hold you to the same standards.

>On the other hand, I have invested an incredible amount of time trying
>to understand the viewpoints of otherr religions. I see the
>discrepancies, ask around, and then the members of *whatever* think
>that I'm being spiteful. So, it looks like they're being sore losers.
>I keep checking. If God is not what I think he is, and he is powerful
>enoughto do anything, and caring enough to think of humans as more
>than giga-pets, then He'll make the truth known to me. He knows I'm
>He can only tell you if he exists -- i.e. in exactly the situation you
>should be concerned about (his non-existence), your above point is
>moot. I know you can do better than that!

I find the point valid, so allow me to restate it: I feel that a loving God would not let someone go to hell without some chance to understand him. Therefore, if I check into every philosophy and religion I encounter, then I will reach the right answer. I'm not talking light-out-of-heaven, I'm talking about some fanatic like me, from some over belief system explaining truth I haven't heard.

>... on an unrelated note, can anybody tell me the bible version in
>which the Lord's prayer contains "and forgive us for our trespasses,
>as we forgive those who trespass against us"? I said that thousands
>of times as a child, and am now unable to find the Bible version from
>which it came! Most versions have "wrong doings" or "debts" in the
>place of "trespasses". It has become something of a minor mystery for

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that that was somthing the church made up (as usual)

We're not perfect, we're just forgiven!

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